Hi! I’m Aqua Dragon. I ended Season 4 at Master 1 and I play Support Orianna, and am also the co-creator of www.bestbans.com !
I also play: then make guides on them!
Keep in mind this is not meant to be an exhaustive guide. It is meant to outline the basic principle, items, runes, and playstyle of Support Orianna. As such, I won't be delving into why certain customization choices were made. However, my hope is that I will have explained Support Orianna enough that my rationale will be a self-evident extension, and to also allow you to make personal customizations as well.
Want to to discuss or watch this build?
Pros and Cons
- Best defensive shield in the game
- Powerful anti-melee peel
- Strong undeniable vision with the ball
- Moves extremely fast; difficult to catch out while warding
- Easily racks up assists; plentiful gold for items
- Negligible damage
- Weak waveclear
- Weak lane presence
- Unforgivably mana hungry early-game
- Only hard-CC is tough to aim and not guaranteed
What is Support Orianna? Why No AP Items?
Orianna is most known for their powerful chunking ability at mid, but underlying that damage are some of the best utility buffs in the game. Unlike other supports that often rely on hard CC, Orianna's primary strength is manipulating the movement speed of the battlefield and providing allies strong, long-distance shields.
Before picking any champion, it's important to analyze their purpose and then, more importantly, how suitable they are for that purpose. Orianna's purpose is to be a non-damaging, shielding, movement-manipulating support. Now, we can analyze how Orianna fares with this purpose.
Sphere Heading Defense
First, Ori's shield: Command: Protect. The best way to understand its power is by comparing it to Janna's shield which is widely regarded as one of the best shields for a teammate. At rank 5:
Both shields have
240 shield strength
0.7 AP scaling shield strength
Only Janna's shield can
be used on turrets
last 5 seconds, instead of Ori's 4
grant 50 extra AD while the shield is active
But in return, Ori's shield has
300 more range
1 second less cooldown
30 MR and Arm for the shielded target
60 non-scaling mana cost (Janna's goes up to 110)
no detriment for being broken early
technically higher shield than 240 (due to passive stats)
We can see that Orianna's shield isn't as offensive as Janna's, but makes up for it in range, cooldown, and mana.
Because its passive protection cannot be destroyed like Janna's bonus AD, in a duel between an ADC with Janna's shield and another with Ori's shield, the one with Orianna's shield will have the advantage. 30 MR and Armor is not to be underestimated. That 30 extra defense changes 1,500 effective health into a whopping ~2,000 effective health. Orianna's shield is also boosted by this, meaning it's actually 30% stronger than it actually says. At rank 5, it's actual shield strength is 312.
None of this is to say that Janna's shield is weak compared to Ori's. Rather, the opposite: by comparing Janna's powerful shield to Ori's, we find that Ori's offers similarly powerful utility.
Second, Command: Dissonance offers another powerful narrative. Command: Dissonance easily rivals the utility of one of the most powerful item actives: Talisman of Ascension.
Both Dissonance and Talisman provide a 40% movement speed boost.
Talisman is superior in its absolute effect. It grants the boost for 3 seconds (instead of Orianna's ~2.3) without diminishing and applies it in a 600 range instead of a 250 range.
However, Orianna's is superior in its relative utility; Command: Dissonance is able to provide similar levels of speed to Talisman every 5.4 instead of every 54 seconds.
This is even while ignoring its powerful 40% MS reduction to enemies and its 1,100 ranged cast. As with Janna, this isn't to say Dissonance is stronger, but rather comparable. These give us a relative idea of how powerfully Orianna can fulfill the shielding, movement-manipulating role.
These two are the biggest spells for Orianna's role. Command: Attack and Command: Shockwave also have utility, but theirs is far more apparent. Attack provides undeniable vision, while Shockwave provides a clumping tool and a ranged ~1 second AOE stun against chases and during engages. Both of these simply add to Orianna's already-powerful toolkit.
Why so Little AP?
If you are casting your spells whenever possible to maximize their utility, you will quickly find that there is not even a few seconds of free time to use them offensively. Any damage dealt to opponents is incidental; Orianna cannot effectively be an aggressive support while also being a utility support.
In addition, Orianna has fairly lackluster or decent AP ratios. When building massive AP, these ratios are sufficient to chunk. But when relegated to a support status, where building massive AP is not always feasible, it is too cost-prohibitive to get anything more than incidental AP.
If you watch the previously linked video, take note of how few opportunities exist to use spells offensively.
In order, get
> > > >
Then, choose from the following:
boots of lucidity
Prioritize getting the CDR components to reach the 45% CDR cap.
But if you need a particular situational item that won't bring you up to 45%, consider getting Boots of Lucidity to supplement CDR, and then selling the boots later for Boots of Swiftness
What about Spellthief's Edge?
Spellthief's Edge initially seems like a better pickup than Ancient Coin since it would provide both more money and more lane pressure. In practice, it underperforms.
Breaking even could possibly justify making Spellthiefs just for the added pressure. However, it ultimately becomes far too mana intensive to apply real pressure even with Spellthiefs. Orianna's limited early mana pool gets nearly exhausted just shielding/speeding the ADC from damage. Adding harass on top of the cost quickly becomes untenable.
Even just shielding yourself to make frequent trades with autoattacks devours what little mana you have since you have to return the ball to the carry. This leads to the extra poke being anticlimatic and infrequent, meaning it rarely makes any difference due to Ori's inability to capitalize on the poke. It becomes a negligible damage difference even in best case scenarios.
Perhaps more importantly, picking Ori for strong lane presence is like picking Kassadin for early game. It's not Ori's role, and trying to itemize for that role tends to be suboptimal compared to playing to the strengths. A Coin rush fits more in line with Ori's general passivity. If you feel you absolutely must have Spellthiefs despite all this, make sure you only pick it against melee supports who are easily harassed and can't put your ADC in danger.
Stage of the Game
In the early game, your goals are to
- Shield the ADC from harass
- Keep vision of the lane bush
- Use Command: Dissonance when fighting or running
Keep the ball on the ADC at all times, except when using Command: Attack to keep an eye on the lane bush. As before, you cannot do this regularly. In addition, attempting to harass with your ball is futile and exorbitantly mana-intensive. If you can harass, only do so with autos and never with spells.
Command: Protect is a useful tool to help your ADC win trades. If you notice the ADC's in range of each other, shield your own to nullify the entire autoattack.
As the laning phase ends, your role will expand past being just a shieldbot
- Group with the team
- Conservatively use Dissonance to speed allies to locations
- During teamfights, keep the shield rotating to the highest priority target
- Peel off melees by using Command: Dissonance
- Disrupt channels with Command: Shockwave
Stay on the outskirts of the fight. The ball is the source of the utility, meaning as long as you're within 1,100 units of the fight, you're able to make an impact. Don't get close unnecessarily.
Remember that Command: Dissonance can speed up minions. Use this to your advantage when you're pushing with the team.
Your roles from mid-game remain, but as your items and CDR increase, so too does your impact
- In fights, you should basically never stop casting your spells
- Use Command: Dissonance constantly to speed toward locations
- Use Dissonance to also clearly cover a huge area with the Oracle's Lens
- Combine Dissonance with Talisman to gain a massive speed boost for your engager
You should keep balls on allies primarily for its passive stats rather than its shield. The shield is still strong, but the 30 extra defensive stats become especially meaningful extra defense.
This guide was a lot of fun to write, and I hope you all have learned everything you would have liked. If you have any questions, leave a comment or drop a line over at twitch.tv/aquadragon33 ! And be sure to check out www.bestbans.com !